Friday, September 25, 2020

Richland 2 and COVID-19

The State newspaper (online) continues to report the number of positive COVID-19 for schools, but it still fails to provide a context. Here's what it has to say today:

Richland 2

  • Catawba Trail Elementary: Fewer than 5 employee cases
  • Forest Lake Elementary: Fewer than 5 employee cases
  • L.B. Nelson Elementary: Fewer than 5 student cases
  • Muller Road Middle: Fewer than 5 employee cases
  • Richland Northeast High: Fewer than 5 student cases
  • Spring Valley High: Fewer than 5 student cases and fewer than 5 employee cases
  • Windsor Elementary: Fewer than 5 employee cases

"Fewer than 5" could mean 1, 2, 3 or 4. At least one; not more than four.

So, the Richland 2 District night have 3-12 student cases and 5-20 employee cases.

Where The State fails is when it does not provide a frame of reference by including total number of students in the State of South Carolina and the total number of school employees in the categories covered.

Richland 2 had 27,822 students on Day 10, according to the superintendent's report to the Board on September 22.

With "only" 3-12 student cases, why aren't kids back in school?

Remember, not so long ago (before the superintendent himself was diagnosed positive), when the board was told there were NO cases in Richland 2?

Although DHEC doesn't want to break down exact numbers in the "Fewer than 5" group, Richland 2 certainly could. How would parents feel, if they learned that the real number was "1" at each school?

Public Participation at School Board Meetings

The District has updated information on its website about Public Participation at board meetings. Click here for the whole scoop.

When the agenda for the next board meeting is published on the Friday before the meeting, the window opens ("activates", the District calls it) for written comments. The window closes at 1:00PM on the day of the board meeting.

Submit your written comments on the webform on the Board's Public Participation webpage. The webform will magically appear when the page "activates". You'll be asked to include your name and contact information.

When your comment is read to the board, your name will be read with it (but not your contact information).

The letters are shown to the public as Mrs. Roof reads them. She is a fantastic reader. She is accurate, and she is also a very fast reader. If you have any trouble understanding her or keeping up with the pace, be sure to drop her a note at

Some of the letters were long. It is not possible to judge the interest of the board members, because their faces are not shown while letters are being read. I guess some might wonder whether all of them are really listening.

Do you have an opinion about whether schools should re-open for in-person education?

Are your special needs or young children falling behind because of virtual learning?

Write and submit your messages on the Friday before the next board meeting (or not later than the day of the meeting, Tuesday, 1:00PM). Contact your network, neighbors, friends, other parents. Tell them to write.

Mrs. Roof read 52 comments on September 22. Was that a lot? As of Day 10 of this school year, there are 27,822 students in Richland 2. If there are 12,000 active parents, 52 letters represents 0.43%. But many letters were from teachers, some of whom are probably parents of Richland 2 students.

Do you even watch the Zoom school board meetings? On Tuesday about 200 viewers did. That's 200 out of 27,822 students and 12,000 parents and 3,000+ employees.

Was anyone else brave enough to watch the whole meeting from 5:30PM until 8:08PM? Not sure "brave" is the right word.